Stacking the Deck

January 22, 2007

I just purchased a used set of stacking chairs today. I will use these for the 35mm slide shows I give to friends in my home. I realize that the purchase of used stacking chairs is not exactly compelling content (as promised) but the acquisition ties into a discussion I had with friends last week. On his blog, Tom Slee linked to a story by a photojournalist named Sion Touhig discussing how the anti-copyright lobby makes big business richer. Sion says that it is difficult to make a living in photojournalism these days and the main culprits are big business and copyright utopians.

We’re continually being told the Internet empowers the individual. But speaking as an individual creative worker myself, I’d argue that all this Utopian revolution has achieved so far in my sector is to disempower individuals, strengthen the hand of multinational businesses, and decrease the pool of information available to audiences. All things that the technology utopians say they wanted to avoid.

So what does this have to do with stacking chairs? Well I learned about the stacking chairs from a posting on Kijiji. Kijiji is E-Bay’s answer to Craigslist and both are really bad news for newspapers. Before the internet, local newspapers had a virtual monopoly on classified ads (and regular ads by local businesses). The newspapers used the excess cash from their local virtual monopolies on things like outstanding photojournalism. If you appreciate and want to support fine photojournalism I hope you will purchase some of Sion Touhig’s prints but please remember the important role my happy little stacking chairs play in his story. The world is a funny little place… I love it.

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RAD Thoughts Milestone

January 22, 2007

This is a milestone. I have decided to start a Blog. Deep down inside I know this is something that I will ultimately regret but I have taken the plunge nonetheless. Not only have I committed myself to posting engaging content (like this post) but I have actually put up some of my own cash ($US 9.95 for the domain name and $US 10.00 to get WordPress.com to use it). Apparently I have also committed to my Blog voice being in the first person. Who knew :-)